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Posts Tagged ‘half marathon’

POSTED BY Xempo Wednesday 16th March 14:20 – a new dimension to your running

A bit of background

If you’ve been at a half marathon anywhere in the south over the past few years there’s a good chance you’ll have spotted our dedicated team of pace runners.  We first were asked to provide pacers at the Ealing half marathon in 2012, then the Royal Parks and Richmond half marathons in 2013, and we quickly realised that there was a real gap in the running market for a well-organised reliable pacing resource for race directors.  Most races have to organise their own pacers, and other than the odd running magazine putting a team together, it didn’t appear that anyone was set up to help supply such a service.

So that’s when we decided to  join with our friends at Freestak (, the endurance sports marketing agency, and formed

RacePacing logo     freestak logo

Who are the pacers?
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POSTED BY admin Wednesday 4th February 12:28

Is early Sunday morning the best time to race?

If you value your Sunday morning lie-ins, then running probably isn’t the sport for you. Anyone who has participated in a 10k, half or full marathon has almost certainly had to do so at possibly the most anti-social and inconvenient time of the week.  ie, first thing on a Sunday morning.

We all know the drill.  When the race starts at 9am, you’ve probably got to arrive an hour or so earlier which means leaving home at about 7am.  When there is no public transport available.  So you’ve got to drive, which isn’t much help if you don’t own a car.  It also means that you can’t run in any race that is more than 50 miles away, unless you are prepared to fork out another £100 on an overnight stay.  And you’ve got to get up an hour or two before that to get your body fueled and abluted in order to be fresh and raring to go come the start line.  Which means a 5am alarm call.  Which in turn means an early-to-bed no-fun Saturday evening.  In other words, a Sunday morning race can really ruin your weekend.  How many of the 20-25% of no-shows, that every race experiences can be put down to the runner simply deciding on the morning that they can’t face getting up in the early hours and would much rather stay in bed and give it a miss?  There must be a few.

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POSTED BY admin Tuesday 11th November 16:07

Do we expect too much from running races?

Do we expect too much from running races these days?

In a recent conversation with the race director of a local club organised road race, which for over twenty years has offered the same faultlessly run event, the director was discussing how costs had increased in line with supplying the facilities to match entrant expectations to the point where “everyone now expects the London marathon every year”.

Read any race report or feedback, and participants are invited to comment on everything from the number or toilets, to the quality of the post-race medal/t-shirt/goodie bag as well as the food and drink offerings both during and after the event.  And woe betide any event that doesn’t provide plenty of everything for the minimum of cost, as social media and running forums provide a platform for vocal criticism.

goody bag Read post in full…

POSTED BY admin Tuesday 24th September 16:31

Xempo top tips for pacing

In advance of our Xempo pacers taking to the streets of London for the Ealing half marathon and Royal Parks Foundation half marathon in the next couple of weeks, we thought we’d share with you some top tips we have gathered from our years of racing.  We hope they are of use as you chase those all important PB’s.

  1. Ensure you know your target pace before you set off [link to RW calculator] – and write this down on your wrist or download a pace band [link to RW pace bands]. Experienced runners can sometimes race ‘by feel’, but for less experienced runners, having a target pace means giving yourself the best chance of hitting your goal time.
  2. Be realistic about the pace you want to run – if your personal best time for a 10km race is 50 minutes, then a 1 hour 30 minute half marathon is probably too fast for you at this stage. Be sensible and slowly work your way up to faster times.
  3. Running an even pace is a great strategy. It is unlikely however to mean running at an even effort level. If you stick to the same pace throughout the race, it will undoubtedly feel tougher at the end than is did at the start.
  4. Allow your pace to pick up a little if there is a downhill or the wind is behind you, but not too much.
  5. By running with a group, you will benefit physically – the group will help to shield you from any headwind, which can add extra effort to your running.
  6. Running in a group can also have a psychological benefit, allowing you to simply clear your mind and cruise along at the group’s pace, without having to worry or think too much.
  7. If the pace you have picked is too slow, be prepared to adjust. If you feel as though you could go faster, pick a target ahead of you – another runner or group of runners – and wind up the pace to bridge the gap across to them. However, you should not really do this until you have passed the half way mark in your race at the very least, as you should feel strong in the early stages of the race, but running too fast too early could cause problems later on.
  8. If you think that you have gone off too fast and you are running with a group, allow yourself to drift to the back of the group and stay there, benefitting from the physical and psychological benefits of that position. Relax for a while and see if you can cover a mile or two at the same pace. If not, don’t panic. Slow down, but not dramatically, so that you are running at a more comfortable pace, without losing too much time.
  9. If you are in a pacing group led by an official pacer, be especially aware of other people around you. A big group can create chaos on a race course if the members of that group are not all aware of each other and the other runners with them.
  10. When you run with a group led by a pacer, it is not necessary to be shoulder-to-shoulder with the pacer – just make sure you keep the pacer in sight in front of you. The group will arrive at the finish line within seconds of one another and if everyone tries to run next to the pacer, the finish could be messy.
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POSTED BY admin Monday 23rd September 15:32

Xempo Performance Day Takeaway Tips #2

Improve glute strength for better running

Two weeks ago at the Xempo Performance Day [link:] our Hype-A-Runner competition winners were treated to advice from our panel of experts about many of the ways in which they can improve their running and get to the next Xempo level. In this, the second of a series of posts about what the runners heard at the Performance Day, we hear about the importance of posture and the role that the gluteus maximus plays in that.

Nick Anderson coaching session

Nick Anderson coaching session

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